Sunday, 15 June 2014

'Chef' Film Review

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) struggles at his prestigious restaurant job with bossy owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman) who keeps turning down his creative menu for a boring, safe and classic menu that he has been cooking for ten years.

When the restaurant is reviewed by the biggest critic and online blogger, Carl prepares a new menu which is rejected and subsequently receives a poor and insulting review. Hurt and offended, a hasty angry tweet followed by a public rage sends his reputation and job prospects off the rails. 

Persuaded by wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) and in an effort to regain his cooking creativity, Carl gets a food truck and starts afresh, with the help of his estranged son.

From the opening sequence, we are treated to a starter of fresh cookery porn, served with a slick cinematography and sharp direction. Paired with a stylish flavour of steel pans and exotic music, the food envy whets our appetite for the comedy to come.

A simple story with all the right ingredients: family, food, romance, travelling and a trendy 'social network' theme, the movie carries a contemporary aesthetic and appeals to everyone. The diverse demographic in the audience of our advance screening proved the film's draw to people of all ages. 

Containing strong language and mild sexual references, the movie is full of humour. From the sultry motions of Scarlett Johansson as she waits for a dish from Casper to the direct one liners from the talented Jon Favreau (who wrote, directed and produced). He even brought in good friend Robert Downey Jr to deliver a sharp and funny (even if unecessary) cameo scene. It's like an Iron Man reunion here. Good times!

Food Porn and Sex jokes aside, there is a meaningful father son story that appropriately surfaces at the right moments to evoke emotion, tension, drama and reality. Though predictable, it adds to the story in a delightful and relatable way.

The only downside to the movie is the rather abrupt climax and finish, executed in five to ten minutes with a rather jarring finish. Though appropriately ended, the editing and the cutting could have been better resolved in a smoother more cathartic manner. Nonetheless, 'Chef' is a super likeable film with great characters, humour and a whole lot of eye candy.


Jon Favreau- Carl Casper
John Leguizamo- Martin
Emjay Anthony- Percy (Carl's Son)
Scarlett Johansson- Molly
Dustin Hoffman- Riva
Sofia Vergara- Inez
Robert Downey Jr- Marvin

Lead Jon Favreau is well supported with a plethora of high profile stars such as Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr. Sofia Vergara brings flavour and a pinch of sass, whilst John Leguizamo holds his own and even manages to steal some of the spotlight. 

~~~OVERALL 4.5/5~~~
A feast for the eyes, 'Chef' is not a film to watch when hungry! Starring Jon Favreau, the movie is richly entertaining and well supported with big names Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman and a likeable cameo from Robert Downey Jr. 

Infused with passion, drama and humour, the film is extremely likeable and funny with a dash of cheese. Though simple, straightforward and ultimately predictable, it hits all the right notes and leaves your taste buds yearning for more cinematic sensations. I can easily go watch this a second time.

'Chef' is the 'FEEL GOOD' movie of the Summer! Go watch it in cinemas out June 25th.

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